Frances Ball 30 Sep 2019 12:14pm

Airbnb taxes under HMRC scrutiny

Airbnb is facing scrutiny over its taxes and its application of tax law, according to reports

Like many other tech giants, Airbnb’s tax structure is under increasingly pressured scrutiny in the UK. A new international digital tax standard for the largest tech companies was a major point of contention at this year’s G7 summit.

Airbnb paid £449,802 in corporation tax in 2018, down from £477,284 the year before – the same year that HMRC began to question the company, according to City A.M.The rental giant channels the majority of its profits through Ireland, although its UK entities take care of operational costs and marketing.

Airbnb UK is audited by PwC’s Dublin branch. Its parent company, Airbnb, recently announced that it intends to float as a publicly traded company in 2020.

According to City A.M. the company’s filing said that its operation via Airbnb Ireland was under "legislative risk", as the legislation itself is "vague at best".

The company has published its UK tax strategy, which outlines its "commitment to compliance" in "all of the territories in which we operate".

Airbnb is not classified as a real estate agent – an attempt in France to have them recognised as such failed earlier this year.

Airbnb UK has been contacted for comment.